The present St.Aloysius church was dedicated October 12, 1911. It has the largest seating capacity among Catholic churches in Spokane, able to accommodate 1,100 worshipers. The church, which replaced an original wooden structure, was designed by the architectural firm of Preusse & Zittle of Spokane. An adapted Romanesque style, its many rounded arches and graceful circular features help to soften construction lines. The church, begun in 1909, took almost exactly two years to build at a cost of $176,125.
Interior features of St. Aloysius church include oak woodwork, altars and ambo of matching Italian marble and a true pipe organ with 37 ranks of keys.
Stations of the Cross
The Stations of the Cross, in three-dimensional plaster, were made by the Mayers’ Studio of Germany.
This firm was also responsible for the magnificent stained glass windows (25 by 12 feet) flanking the nave, the great rose windows surmounting the east and west balconies, and the smaller niche windows, depicting Jesuit saints and the life of St. Aloysius Gonzaga, positioned around the apse. In recent years, four new windows have been added depicting St. Jude, St. Francis Xavier Cabrini, Mother Teresa of Calcutta and Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha.
The church is open for visitors and for private prayer during daylight hours throughout the year. Brochures providing a self-guided tour are available in the narthex near the main doors and near the Visitors’ Guestbook, and guided tours are scheduled at intervals after the Sunday Masses. Docents can be available for group tours throughout the year by appointment; call 313-7004 to schedule.
The basement of the church, named O’Malley Hall after a loved former Jesuit pastor, provides a warm and hospitable setting for Sunday morning coffee-and-donuts, meetings, socials, educational programs and other parish activities. The hall, seating 100 at round tables, is often made available for family and community events.
Both the church and O’Malley Hall are handicapped accessible. The newly dedicated Antonian Room now provides full access to activities in the Parish Center across the street from the church.
St. Aloysius church is located in the historic Logan neighborhood, in close proximity to the Gonzaga University campus, and has served both town and gown well over the years. Although they are separate entities, parish and university communities interact to bring a rich diversity of cultures, interests, talents and resources to life at “St. Al’s,” drawing many into closer relationship with God through liturgy, education, spirituality and service.
The distinctive twin spires, housing the great bell Catherina, rise high above the surrounding area and are visible from vantage points throughout the city.
On occasion, the church provides a richly spiritual setting for musical programs such as the Gonzaga University Chorale’s annual Christmas Candlelight Concert, and is the chosen site for many special celebrations for families and the cultural community.
Each year during March, the faithful come to St. Aloysius for the annual Novena of Grace in honor of St. Francis Xavier. A tradition in most Jesuit parishes, the nine-day Novena of Grace brings together people of all walks of life, ages and faith traditions for spiritual renewal and prayer. The church is filled for three services each day. Novena details and schedule are posted in weekly bulletin and website several weeks beforehand.
Visitors may follow a self-guided tour using the brochure available in the church narthex and near the Visitors’ Guestbook. Docents are available to conduct guided tours by appointment.
Call 313-5896 to arrange a tour.
Copyright 2015 - St. Aloysius Church, Spokane Washington